Saturday, October 14, 2006

...and life goes on

My school had our graduation assembly for the graduating students yesterday afternoon. It was a short yet poignant moment for almost all of us. The short clips of messages by most of the teachers teaching the graduating classes, the video clip showing their antics when they were much, MUCH youger (some say even CUTER!...rolls eyes), plus the sing along session, I must say not as deeply memorable as previous years, as we had it at night and together with the 'gown-wearing session', but I must say, it was just as good, if not better!

I must say it has been one hell of an experience teaching my students this year. What with their individual antics, Basil with his errr....blurry state of mind, Bessie with her coninuous quest for prettiness (I'm talking about her folio), the quiet Teng Ray's sense of meticulousness in her work (I swear she reminded me of my auditor friend a while back!), Jie Kai with his jumbled-up state of mind...doesn't seem to know what he want to do until the end, Daryl...with his so-cool nature...but hmmmm...let me just leave it at that and Wei Arng...a pleasant surprise indeed, coming out with one of the best folios ever done by a Unity student in my 3+years there...and many more gems that I should treasure and remember for the rest of my teaching career. It feels sad that I have to let them go, but rest assured, I think, or I think that I think, that I have given them a glimpse of what project work is all about, neverminding that half of them were below my expectations in terms of the quality of their work output! My only hope is that they'll learn their lessons of handling a project work...the troubles, shortcomings and other unexpected Murphys-law-type of incidences, and be better able to handle them in their next stage of their educational journey.

To those of you who does read my blog, but chose not to admit it, :), do remember my 4 advice,
1) Never do anything purely for me, it will never EVER be enough
2) Never succumb to the herd mentality..if you need to, be an individual and create a path, instead of treading along a path that others have already set forth for you
3) Do anything that you think you would like to do, with PRIDE and PASSION, people CAN tell the difference
4) ...and lastly, that piece paper that you are going to get, or planning to get in years to come, will only determine how wide the doors are opened for you, what matters more is how well you fare and perform once you are beyond the door.

Here's wishing you all the very best in not only your O levels, but also in your future endeavours, whatever those may be. Maybe you will still see me at Unity in 2009/2010, or maybe you wouldn't, but whatever it is, the memories of teaching the class of LV45 2006 will forever be etched in my memories.

With deep sadness, and a little reflective...the cynical-idealist

Friday, October 6, 2006

It's been a while...and i'm not a racist!

It has been a while since the last time i last blogged. Things are moving at a lighting pace now, what with the end of the year highlights and other 'highs' drawing nearer, or to a close. Seems like everybody is rushing things and trying to get everybody off their backs, metaphorically speaking, of course!

And what have we here. A somewhat confused individual who is still trying to grasp some sense in all these chaos. Chaotic...ahh how i love the word sometimes. Seems so oxymoronic that there is such a thing called chaos engineering.

What's with the racist slant in my title you might think? I am sure i am NOT a racist, and i don't think i condone such acts, but it is just that recent incidences do bring up some issues that, maybe, just maybe, will enable me to put these 'racist' thoughts, off my chest and brain.

One thing that happens recently was when my wifey got herself in some sort of a 'i-don't-think-a-lady-in-tudung-can-teach-my-kid-properly' sort of moment. She is currently doing her Dip. in Early Childhood, and as part of her coursework, she needs to go for an attachment once a week. Her place of 'work' is one of the premier (not main!) provider of childcare and early childhood services, and in one of those awkward moments early on during her attachment, when the parents came down to pick up their kids, one of them actually walk up to my wife's mentor and told her that she wants to take her kid out from this particular class, and into another class. No prizes for guessing which class my wife was attached to (the kid's original class)...and this is after she notices a certain look in the know the look that you get when someone sort of like questions your judgements and/or abilities (hmmm...i seem to be getting a lot of that at times, but errr, that is another topic altogether!). But I guess that is just an aspect that most of us will have to live by...something that i just consider a 'job hazard'. That's the attitude that I have been adopting so far, and look at where it has gotten me into.

Another incident that i experiencd personally was when i was just about to end my NS and was looking for some part time tuition assignments near my house. I got hold of this tuition agency's no. and went down to meet with the owner for an interview. I'm assuming he is the owner because he got this 'i-am-the-boss-of-this-place-and-i-will-decide-whether-i-will-hire-
you-or-not' kind of look. After passing my result slips and other details for the interview, amongst the first few words that came out from his mouth was, "I didn't know that Malays can be soooo good in mathematics"(emphasis is not mine, he actually say it in that way!). And this was after he noted that I scored distinctions in ALL my mathematics-based subjects at O and A-level exams!. I was like errrr, dumbfounded, confused...but i don't know why, i didn't feel angry at all! I think I should have, but something inside me just sort of like was telling me to switch off my anger mode and just try to craft out a little smile (i can't remember whether i smiled or not!). Maybe to save me from getting into prison for assault or worse, manslaughter, somehow or rather, my anger mode just did not work on that day. surprisingly i didn't pummel him to pieces there and then, but rather just walk away! And of course i didn't hear from him ever again. Thinking back, yeah i was desperate for some assignemnts, but NOT that desperate to work for him! Good riddance! And just to be a little mean, i do hope that his agency is still surviving! ;)

These two major incidences in my life...there is more, but perhaps i should save them for another day and entry, do affect the way i see things later in my life! Perhaps that is the reason why i wanted to get my post-degree by 30, and why i wanted to be in the education line, among others. Perhaps while reinforcing that academic abilities should not be the domain of any one race, neither should it be a birth right of any one race for it to be equated to, i will try as far as possible to give my perspectives and educate my students on the importance of being 'colour-blind'. My mind shudders that a person in the academia (i'm assuming that the owner of the agency is one!) can have such an assumption ingrained in his mind!

I hope my flight towards the above ideals will be fruitful, as pilots can't afford to be 'COLOUR BLIND' :)